Europe
German industry body warns against U.S.-provoked trade war
Last Updated: 2017-08-16 10:57 | Xinhua
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The German Chambers of Industry and Commerce (DIHK) has issued a warning against the negative implications of a Washington-provoked trade war between the United States and China on Tuesday.

"A conflict between the world's two largest economies would also negatively affect the German economy," DIHK president Eric Schweitzer told German newspaper Neue Osnabruecker Zeitung.

Schweitzer stressed how deeply intertwined the German, U.S. and Chinese economies had become.

"Germany shares a trade volume with both countries of nearly 170 billion euros (199.8 billion U.S. dollars) each," he noted. The combined 335 billion euros account for more than 15 percent of Germany's total trade.

Schweitzer reprimanded U.S. president Donald Trump for his protectionist "America First" rhetoric, emphasizing that all sides had to abide by the rules of the World Trade Organization. He called for a strengthening of the Geneva-based organization to resolve disputes.

According to the DIHK president "a trade war would only produce losers."

German politicians and business leaders have repeatedly voiced concern over Trump's vocal criticism of globalization and related threats to impose tariffs and non-tariff barriers since his election.

Chancellor Angela Merkel has sought to intensify cooperation with China and other international partners to defend free global trade in response, while the European Commission has warned that Washington's move towards protectionism would be met with swift retaliation by the European Union.

On Monday, Trump continued to fan the flames of a potential trade war by ordering an investigation into China's use of intellectual property rights and threatening to impose higher tariffs depending on its outcome.

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